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Thread: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I picked one of these units up last week and have been mildly happy with it. My biggest problem is that the flow seems to be very quick (sub 5 seconds before it goes blonde) and no matter how hard I tamp it, it still flows very quickly. I am using ground beans from a store called The Grind in the Central Markets, Adelaide. The guy there said the grind setting he used is what works best for most home espresso machines.
    Does anyone have any hints to help me out and also any opinions on the machine. All the reviews that I have seen seem to give it the thumbs up, I just want to get the most out of it!

    Cheers,

    Fil

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Hi Fil, welcome to CS!
    I have one of these (my old machine) and there are a heap of things that could be attributing to the problems with your shots.

    1. Stale coffee (once ground it is stale within 3 mins). So start saving for a grinder... *;)
    2. The pressurised baskets that come with your machine produce fake "crema" and are designed for stale supermarket coffee. Many lower end sunbeam users replace these with Krups non-pressurised baskets (you must freshly grind to use these).
    3. Underdosing. The recommended method is to overfill the basket lightly tamp, top up to a heap again then tamp.
    4. The grind is too coarse which is leading to under extraction.
    5. Tamper. If you are using the supplied plastic thing you wont be tamping hard enough no matter what you do.

    This is just to mention a few! Other CSs will surely respond soon with more advice.
    BTW these are things that have worked for me if im wrong however im sure the experts around here will correct me... *My EM4800C can consistently pull a double shot of 60ml in 25 seconds (give or take a ml/sec or two).

    Now that you have discovered CS the bug will surely bite.

    Best of luck *:)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Great advise...

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Thanks for the reply! Now when you say 60ml in 25 seconds does that mean from the second you switch on the machine or when it actually starts to come out. I just went over to the coffee shop (The Grind) and they graciously gave me another bag on a grind setting of 3 (previous was 4) so well see how that goes!

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Well, the timing thing gets a bit murky sometimes.
    I always say 60mls in 30 seconds from the time you flick the switch.

    It is a great place to start.

    Generally, it will take about 5 seconds before the pour starts to come out if the grind/tamp is in the right ballpark.

    Once you start to get this sort of timing on a consistent basis, then you can fiddle around with some of the nuances of timings.

    For some people, they mean 25 seconds from the start of the pour, some people mean 25 seconds in total because they prefer a slightly restricted shot.

    I found this kind of thing a bit confusing when starting out, so I always say 60mls/30 seconds (for a double) from the time you flick the switch.

    Long winded way to say that, wasnt it?

    Brett.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Hehe nah that kinda clears it up! So for a single shot thatd be 17.5secs from when ya flick the switch? :)

    Also, with the crema, how much of a shot should you aim for to be crema? I noticed some coffee blends have next to none and some have heaps!?

  7. #7
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Crema is dependant on a number of factors.
    Freshness of beans, and how long ago they were ground, type of beans, amount of robusta in blend, proper grind, tamp, temperature when extracting etc.

    Pressurised baskets also create false crema.


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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Quote Originally Posted by Filby link=1188874457/0#5 date=1188884700
    Hehe nah that kinda clears it up! So for a single shot thatd be 17.5secs from when ya flick the switch? :)
    Nope! The timing of the shot should remain the same regardless of the size basket youre using. The only thing that should change is the amount extracted. :)


    Java "Numbers, numbers everywhere, and liquid gold to drink!" phile

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Quote Originally Posted by Filby link=1188874457/0#5 date=1188884700
    Hehe nah that kinda clears it up! So for a single shot thatd be 17.5secs from when ya flick the switch? :)
    I thought that comment was a joke based on my long-winded answer.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Im a bit confused on how you would end up with the same time when using a single shot as there is less back pressure on the machine and you are making less coffee?? Doesnt make engineering sense. Its like turning a tap fully open and expecting to get 5lts in a bucket in the same time that it takes to fill 10lts...

    Anyway, I tried ou the number 3 grind and it made the machine slow down quite a bit which i think is a good thing. The coffee tastes quite a bit stronger though with the coffee they gave me im getting almost no crema. Also a couple of times when I have take off the PF after making the coffee, wet coffee grinds spurted everywhere!


    Fil

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Quote Originally Posted by Filby link=1188874457/0#9 date=1189214551
    Im a bit confused on how you would end up with the same time when using a single shot as there is less back pressure on the machine and you are making less coffee?? Doesnt make engineering sense. Its like turning a tap fully open and expecting to get 5lts in a bucket in the same time that it takes to fill 10lts...
    Gday Filby,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs by the way [smiley=thumbsup.gif].

    If you have a close look at the underside of both the Double and Single shot baskets, you will notice that the Single basket has roughly half the number of holes through which the liquor must flow. This, coupled with properly ground, dosed and tamped coffee will result in a shot that is half the volume poured in the same amount of time as a Double. All the best,

    Mal.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Quote Originally Posted by Filby link=1188874457/0#9 date=1189214551
    Im a bit confused on how you would end up with the same time when using a single shot as there is less back pressure on the machine and you are making less coffee?? Doesnt make engineering sense. Its like turning a tap fully open and expecting to get 5lts in a bucket in the same time that it takes to fill 10lts...
    What Mal said! :)

    Anyway, I tried ou the number 3 grind and it made the machine slow down quite a bit which i think is a good thing. The coffee tastes quite a bit stronger though with the coffee they gave me im getting almost no crema. Also a couple of times when I have take off the PF after making the coffee, wet coffee grinds spurted everywhere!
    Your machine most likely does not have a 3-way valve to relieve the pressure in the grouphead at the end of the shot. As a result you must wait some time for the pressure to equalize via leaking through the puck before removing the portafilter. Otherwise you get a coffee shower! ;D


    Java "Prefers to drink it rather than shower in it!" phile

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Ahh. Hrmm I would think it has a 3 way valve in it due to when you close off either the head or the steaming wand it dumps a lot of steam out through the base and into the drip tray?
    How does going to a de-pressurised basket change the end result? I see a lot of people around using the Krups baskets but I dont understand how this changes the end coffee?

    Cheers

    Fil

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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Quote Originally Posted by Filby link=1188874457/0#12 date=1189311378
    How does going to a de-pressurised basket change the end result? I see a lot of people around using the Krups baskets but I dont understand how this changes the end coffee?

    Cheers

    Fil
    Hi Fil, Welcome to CoffeeSnobs

    Have a read of :

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1180165483/#10

    That was a discussion re the Ikon, but the info is the same for the EM4800C

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    Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    Hi

    My machine coffee is a little low ( I pre heat cups ) so I decided to measure the temp the water was extracted to the coffee . I removed the handle for the machine, placed a preheated cup under the head and extracted water into the cup from the machine and measure the temperature , and measure 72 degree C.

    The book says that the thermo block head heats the water to 92 degrees C. So if the thermo block does this then I would expect over 88 degrees C to come out of the head.

    What do you guys get ? Or does anyone know what the range should be ?

    Thanks

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    Re: Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    The temp is actually quite good... but you need to understand that Thermoblock temperature cant be measured this way... it needs to be measured under "pressure" at a slower flow rate...

    The temp your getting now is quite normal...

    Why are you thinking the Temp is low? Is the coffee sour?

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    Re: Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    Im thinking the temperature is low. My friends machine is measured to have a temperature of 85 degrees C.

    Coffee is not sour but if you dont drink it straight away it is on the cold side.

    Also all good coffee sites express that the water temp must be over 88 degrees C

    The key word being water temp before extraction, if after extraction the temperature was 72 degrees C then I agree this would be acceptable. But I remove the basket and handle and filled the pre warmed cup with water from the group head of the coffee machine and measured 72 degrees C. This would be the approximate temperature of my machine at the group head. All coffee sites say that the temperature at the group head should be at least 88 degrees C. If this is so then is my machine a little low in Temperature and at too low a temperature is does not extract the full flavor and aroma which espresso is suppose to have.


    So what temperatures do others get?


    PS: From a coffee site
    The correct temperature for hot water from an espresso machine group head is 88 - 95 degrees celsius. Hot water under this temperature will not extract the full oil content of the coffee and may make the espresso sour. Over 95 degrees will burn the coffee oils.
    Perfect temperature may feature some dark brown streaking on the top of the crema or tiger mottle, usually a deep reddish brown.


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    Re: Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyd111 link=1189557765/0#2 date=1189570818
    Im thinking the temperature is low. My friends machine is measured to have a temperature of 85 degrees C.
    Is it the same model/\/type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyd111 link=1189557765/0#2 date=1189570818
    Coffee is not sour but if you dont drink it straight away it is on the cold side.
    Nothing unusual there...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyd111 link=1189557765/0#2 date=1189570818
    Also all good coffee sites express that the water temp must be over 88 degrees C
    Yes, thatd be about right

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyd111 link=1189557765/0#2 date=1189570818
    The key word being water temp before extraction, if after extraction the temperature was 72 degrees C then I agree this would be acceptable. But I remove the basket and handle and filled the pre warmed cup with water from the group head of the coffee machine and measured 72 degrees C. This would be the approximate temperature of my machine at the group head. All coffee sites say that the temperature at the group head should be at least 88 degrees C. If this is so then is my machine a little low in Temperature and at too low a temperature is does not extract the full flavor and aroma which espresso is suppose to have.
    Understand your reasoning... but you need to understand Thermoblock technology and how it measures the temp... if you brew under load, the water flow is lower, and the Thermoblock does its temp measuring more accurately as that this how it is "calibrated"... If you brew straight water without load, the thermoblock still heats the water, but not at the desired temp. Understand? Do some further research here... this has been discussed before...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyd111 link=1189557765/0#2 date=1189570818
    PS: From a coffee site
    The correct temperature for hot water from an espresso machine group head is 88 - 95 degrees celsius. Hot water under this temperature will not extract the full oil content of the coffee and may make the espresso sour. Over 95 degrees will burn the coffee oils.
    Perfect temperature may feature some dark brown streaking on the top of the crema or tiger mottle, usually a deep reddish brown.
    This is correct...

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    Re: Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyd111 link=1189557765/0#2 date=1189570818
    Perfect temperature may feature some dark brown streaking on the top of the crema or tiger mottle, usually a deep reddish brown.
    Caveat, if youre using Pressurised Baskets, none of the above will happen as prescribed...

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    Re: Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    MarcS thanks for your comments and confirmation as this helps me confirm and learn

    My friends machine is a EM4800B and has measured the temperature at 85 degrees C.

    Today my other friend measured the temperature of his machine, which is a EM4800C and he has measured a temperature of 80 degrees C.

    The thermoblock is basically a coiled, heated pipe through which cold water is pushed, slowly heating up until it reaches the correct temperature for either brewing or steaming milk
    So when under load it flows slowly and should reach a higher rate but my question is while the machine is heating is water in the pipes or does it start to flow from the beginning of the thermoblock when you start to pour ?

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    Re: Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    I wont even pretend to understand thermoblock technology, but I would check what you and your friends are measuring temps with. If one of you is using a multimeter, another is using a digital thermometer and the 3rd one is measuring with the old roast thermometer thats been rattling around the kitchen drawer for 20 years, then you will have no chance of getting an accurate comparison. Even if you are all using the same model device then you need to know there can still be variances. Your best bet is to take your temps using just one device on all three machines.

    Better still, if the coffee tastes good, then assume that all is ok. :)

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    Re: Cafe Crema EM4800C Tempo Low

    Viviane

    I am using a calibrated multimeter, and this meter is used to measure all three machines. Ive also used basic spot checks to check the meter, that being and ice bath (0 degrees C) and boiling water (100 degrees C) and the meter was within 0.4 degrees C.

    After thinking about it measuring the temperature of the aluminium block (thermoblock) looks like a good way of checking the coffee machines possible optimum temperature.

    Ill explain for people who want to know how a thermoblock works in basic principles. A thermoblock is an aluminium block which has a coiled copper pipe embedded in it and water passes through the copper pipe. Now the aluminum block also has a heating element attached to it and a thermostat which is also attached to it. The way it works is the heating element heats up the aluminum block, and the when the temperature of the aluminum block reaches the thermostat setpoint (thermostat triggering) then the thermostat cuts the electrical power from the heat element thus turning off the heat element.
    When the aluminum block slowly cools down by about 3 to 5 degrees the thermostat connects power to the heating element and turns it on. When the temperature of the aluminum block reaches the thermostat setpoint (thermostat triggering) then the thermostat cuts the electrical power from the heat element thus turning the heat element off. This cycle continues while the power switch of the coffee machine is on. Therefore the aluminum block is at a continuous temp between 88 to 92 degrees C (assuming that the literature in the sunbeam EM4800C book is accurate when it says that the thermoblock is at 92 degrees C).

    Now when you put the valve on (put the switch on to pour a cup of coffee) water passes through the copper pipe embedded in the aluminum block. The slower water flows through the copper pipe the more likely is will reach the same temperature as the aluminum block. Obviously the machine would have been designed that the water flow of 30 sec to fill 60mL would reach the sane temperature of the aluminum block, and any slower the water would not get any hotter than the aluminum block. So that is the basic explanation of thermoblock technology and an explanation of why measuring the temperature of the aluminum block is probably more important as the water can not get any hotter than the aluminum block.




  23. #23
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Hi Filby - I got the EM4800B (which is identical to the C) about 3 years ago with my credit card points. My first foray into espresso machines and it seemed like a good place to start. For what it is and the price (although I didnt pay for it), I think it punches above its weight. It gets used about 10 times per day - more if friends pop over. So all in all, given the usage it gets its probably lasted the equivalent of 8 years and shows no signs of slowing down. So, from a reliability point of view I cant fault it - which is a bit of a shame for me......the boss wont let me buy a Silvia till this one breaks down!

    A few tips that may help. Place a cup under the group and run some water through to release any build up of steam before locking the portafilter in place. You should get crema everytime if the coffee doesnt get steamed/burnt (provided of course the coffee isnt stale and has the correct grind) . Especially if you make a latte - make sure you carry out this procedure a couple of times as the steam build up from the frothing function seems to carry over to the first few seconds of brewing. If the puck looks pitted then youve steamed it. Not only will it taste bitter but therell be little or no crema.

    As for the extraction time, the finest grind and hardest tamp wont get you 60ml in 30 seconds with this machine. The best I can manage is about 18 - 20 seconds, and thats on the finest grind this machine will accept. Any finer a grind and its choking.

    The best results Ive achieved have been in the last month or so, and especially in the last couple of days! A month or so ago I bought a grinder. Its only a Delonghi KG100 but it made a significant difference. A couple of days ago I tweaked the grinder to get an additional 3 increments. The difference that made is quite significant. The extraction time has slowed and, well, it just tastes better. So, my advice is to purchase a grinder and always use fresh beans (which I thought was a furfy till I tried it for myself).

    My cleaning tips are to place a cup under the group and run water through after each brew. Then clean the shower screen with a sponge and run water through again. With the frother, wipe it after use then submerge the wand into a cup of water and run the steam/froth function. And descale every few months or so.

    Other than that, you should get a decent shot 9 out of 10 times. Oh, one last and important point......the portafilter has a habit of flying off with these machines. I suggest placing your hand against the side of the portafilter so it cant spring back.

    Enjoy.


  24. #24
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    Re: Sunbeam EM4800C Cafe Crema

    Why would a cheaper machine make hotter coffee ?

    The sunbeam cafe expresso (EM3800) makes hotter coffee than the sunbeam cafe crema (EM4800C) by about 13 degrees C.

    Both machines claim that the thermoblock heats the water to 92 degrees C.

    I have now tested 4 sunbeam Cafe crema machines only to find that the coffee is on the low side.

    I personally love hot coffee and am annoyed by this, especially when the products literature says it does something but in reality does not achieve it.

    Does anyone else notice that the coffee from the sunbeam cafe crema is a little on the cold side ?



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